TheHoosier - James Blackmon Jr. Affirms He Will Stay In NBA Draft
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James Blackmon Jr. Affirms He Will Stay In NBA Draft

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James Blackmon Jr. has made it official: he's turning pro.

In a post published to his Instagram account Monday afternoon, the junior guard confirmed FanRag Sports' Jon Rothstein's Sunday report by announcing he had signed with an agent and will keep his name in consideration for the NBA Draft, forgoing his final year of eligibility at Indiana. Blackmon walked at IU's graduation and is on track to complete his degree in August.

Getting selected in this summer's upcoming NBA Draft will likely be an uphill battle for Blackmon, who was not invited next week's draft combine, based on multiple analysts' current projections.

DraftExpress as of May 4 has Blackmon unranked in the Top 100 and expected to go unchosen. The outlet slots him as the No. 26 junior in its Top 60 rankings for that class and the No. 15 Big Ten prospect out of 44 players ranked from the conference. Both rankings have remained unchanged since March 19.

ESPN's Chad Ford ($) as of April 18 also Doesn't include Blackmon in his latest Top 100 NBA Draft prospect rankings. NBADraft.net as of May 3 doesn't include among the 60 players expected to be drafted this summer or analyst Aran Smith's latest Top 100 rankings. The outlet slots Blackmon as the No. 31 junior in its Top 50 rankings for that class.

There's still plenty of time for Blackmon to have meetings and pre-draft workouts with NBA teams to change his outlook.

Should he go undrafted, though, it wouldn't mean the end of his NBA dream. Former IU standouts Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell went unchosen in last summer's draft and still managed to find NBA homes with the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks respectively.

Junior guard Robert Johnson remains as the only IU underclassmen who initially declared without signing with an agent with a decision to make regarding his future. IU sophomore center Thomas Bryant signed with an agent and opted to stay in the NBA Draft last week.

Johnson has until May 24 to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to school.

Blackmon earned third team All-Big Ten recognition from the media and honorable mention All-Big Ten from the coaches last season after averaging a team-leading 17.0 points in 30.5 minutes per game. He was also named one of 10 finalists for the Jerry West Award, an award given annually to the nation's top shooting guard by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and became the 50th player in IU history to surpass 1,000 career points.

The Marion, Indiana native closed his final season as a Hoosier with 1,235 career points, which ranks 33rd in school history.

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